"It was time to think about it, and Katie and I had some good talks about this journey," Eaton said. "It's been a journey, that's for sure. Most people only think from college, but for me and my family, we really think back almost to when I could start walking. This kind of brings it all together. Just memories, growing up when you're the smallest kid and you don't know if you can do this and this and this, and to make it to the big leagues, it kind of all comes together."
Undersized at 5-foot-8, the 23-year-old was not selected until the 19th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
Eaton showed he could hit at every level of the D-backs' system, and the team had planned on calling him up when Reno's playoff run ended. However, when center fielder Chris Young suffered a quad injury Monday, the timetable got moved up.
"Very deserving for this opportunity," D-backs GM Kevin Towers said of Eaton. "I like the way he plays the game. He plays a very intense game both defensively and offensively, gives us some speed at the top of the lineup, so we'll see."
A strong showing in September could certainly put Eaton in a good position to earn a spot in the outfield next year.
"We've got a lot of outfielders," Towers said. "It puts him in a position for the last month to get into some games going against the Dodgers and Giants, a couple of contending clubs. It will be good experience for him and we'll worry about 2013 at the end of 2012, but it will be nice to see how he handles big league competition both offensively and defensively."
Eaton had an eventful debut. He struck out to leadoff the game, but did manage to go 2-for-6 in the 11-inning win. He collected his first Major League hit, a double in the fourth inning off Ryan Volgelsong.
When he got to second, he looked up into the crowd and saw his family and fiancee, which made him think back to his road to the big leagues.
"It just seemed like it all flashed in front of my eyes," Eaton said.